My first character was a tank, which gave me a melee perspective throughout my careers at the City of Heroes. Characters with knockback powers tended to annoy me. (I later learned to appreciate its capabilities, though.) Especially annoying were "pure healer" empaths who had very few attacks but had chosen a blast set with knockback. "He doesn't do any damage to speak of; all he keeps doing is push foes away from me."
So ... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The character concept was that he would be annoying in chat and the way he moved around, but would actually use his knockback powers wisely. As it turned out, he was just too annoying for me to play.
DicTheTic was created with the huge body type, but very short in stature. Hence the "Tic(k)" part of his name. My actual name is Dick (although have been called Rich or Richard most of my adult life). The character creator would not allow me to use "Dick the Tick" as a character name due to some sophomoric restriction. "Ok, let's shorten it to something that won't be disallowed."
I did not enjoy playing him. His Invulnerability powers seemed not to protect him as much as a tank needed, and I really did not like the idea of bashing people with a war mace.
I believe this was my first scrapper, though short lived. His powers were generated from technology in his shoes. The Dark Armor was actually just a side effect of leaking gasses. He was meant to role play a flamboyant dude, but I wasn't very good at that. I had to delete him due to the sounds from the toggles of his Dark Armor. This was way before toggle sound effects would fade after a few seconds. It was as if he had swallowed a cat live, and the cat was still very much alive, and unhappy.
I soon recreated a scrapper with the same name on Virtue, but with Broadsword and Super Reflexes powers.
His was one of those names which occurred to me offline, out of the blue. A character with that name just had to be created! He wasn't just a fraud; his very fraudulence was fraudulent.
I cannot remember a whole lot about him except that he was in a different villain group than most of my test server bad guys. Both groups were founded by @Djeannie, well known in the test server community. The second villain group just had a couple of @Djeannie's characters and Ersatz. The base was huge, though. The VG had been created specifically to take advantage of the prestige grant being made to villain and hero groups at the time.
Pallor and Dott were my first two Test Server natives. Pallor was a villain and Dott a hero, so I could play either side of the game. Necromancy may have been the most difficult of the mastermind primaries, though I did not realize that at the time. The zombies are primarily melee fighters, making them especially susceptible to Damage Over Time (DOT) attacks such as Burn or Caltrops. His Force Field secondary power set lessened how often foes hit, but did nothing to heal the damage they did sustain.
The only images I have for any of The Deleted are the two shots of Pallor, beginning and ending this page. He is showing off what was then the brand new Valentine Heart "skins" (or textures). The Valentine event was being tested for the first time, and folks who did not have any test server characters were asking on the forums what the Heart skins looked like. I replied, and kept the screen shots.
I can't discuss the origin of RGB Pixels without mentioning Eric Schwartz. He was famous in the Amiga (and later furry) community for his brilliant animations, and was essentially a YouTuber long before its time. One of his videos was a hilarious public service message, describing the deleterious effects of "RGB Pixel Radiation". He become best known for his Amy the Squirrel videos and Sabrina-Online comic strip, which are his link to the furries.
The concept for RGB Pixels was that he wasn't there. You were experiencing an "RGB pixel" representation of him (think steampunk hologram). The actual person behind RGB Pixels was at home, controlling everything via an advanced personal computer (or analytical engine should you wish to extend the steampunk theme).
Dott founded a super group, The Petri Dish, which all my Test Server heroes would join. The base was built over time by me, with probably 75% of the necessary prestige (SG money) to build it coming from Dott and my other heroes. My timing was bad in founding it. If two months earlier, we would have received millions in prestige for the very purpose of base testinig.
Dark Armor was a good protective set. The primary downside was aesthetic. Once you took the Cloak of Darkness power, your character looked like a cloudy splotch of black ink, and none of your costume was even visible. Hence I eventually changed his name from Dott to Splotch.
His name is obviously a take on "unleavened bread", and I believe his online description included the relationship. I cannot remember what it was, though. I played him heavily for a certain period of time, which led me to create Energi Zed on Virtue.
The Energy Melee set could really make a tank feel powerful. Tied to Ice Armor, there were never any endurance problems once you took Energy Transfer at level 35.
Guessing at what might have happened, there had been three developments which might have led to "the wipe". One was the existence of the Beta Server. From the beginning, The Test Server had been the Beta Server. Access would become restricted, a new issue (release) would be tested, the beta would be opened to everyone, and a few weeks later the issue would go live. The Beta Server was added in 2010, initially to test the Going Rogue release (Issue 18). Once it existed the importance of the Test Server to the developers probably decreased.
Another factor was likely the foul taste Player versus Player (PvP) had left in the developer's throats. The Test Server had been a primary place for PvP, because characters from all live servers could be copied there and compete in the Arena and PvP zones. Players were not ever really satisfied with the special changes made for PvP, primarily for balance. The devs tried minor tweaks over time, and never seemed to make everyone happy. It was "good enough" though, for a signifant number of dedicated PvP'ers. Then, the "great balance change" (GBC) was made, and the active PvP folks hated it. I mean, hated it! Many quit the game. And those who did not aggressively hated on the developers, particularly Castle. I suspect that is one reason Castle chose to move on to another job, even though singling him out was unfair.
The real problem was resources. PvP was never popular with a large percentage of the player base to begin with. That the GBC had been authorized at all, along with the money and developer time to implement it, was likely a small miracle. When it failed, the resources were gone, and never re-authorized. A PvP community never re-emerged. Developers did not touch PvP after that. It was not just resources — they had been burned.
The third factor was likely that the Test Server had lost its "hero" among the developers. I mean one who considered the test community important and who would spend the time to do back ups and restorations to allow the community to remain. I kind of think that that hero had been Castle. Whoever it had been, no one was around any more to care enough to give a simple forum announcement:
Instead, we logged onto the Test Server one day, and everything was gone. When we asked in the forums what had happened, we were told it was needed for some sort of developer experiment, and they would not be restoring our characters. The Test Server community had been carelessly massacred, and a lot of the dedicated testers never bothered going back.